food watch: does pepsi own your organic…?

March 9, 2008 at 10:07 pm | Posted in environment, food watch | 3 Comments

after nite*vision’s guest post, “cows dropping like flies” (2 posts below), i had to return the favor. check out does pepsi own your organic… and find out how the big food corporation have been sneaking into the “organic” game.

underground railroad bike route

May 10, 2007 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Black Folks, Cycling, environment, Health & Healing | 3 Comments

“throughout history, black people have used bicycles as a mode of transportation. today we must promote physical activity within the cultural context of african american history, including the struggle to freedom from slavery. the underground railroad bicycle route demonstrates how to use cultural tailoring designed to get people moving.” dr. stephen b. thomas, cmh director and professor of community health & social justice at the univ. of pittsburgh graduate school of public health.

once a clandestine path travelled under the cloak of nightfall and whose details were ingeniously encoded in song, can now be physically (re)traced and (re)appreciated in the context of fitness, historical reflection, and courage. the underground railroad bicycle route is a 2,058 mile historic trail stretching from mobile bay on the gulf of mexico to the great lakes in ontario with the mission to “promote lifelong health…to people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.” this landmark mapping project began over 3 years ago as a joint venture between the adventure cycling association and the university of pittsburg’s center for minority health of pennsylvania.

because of the trail’s length and plethera of historic sites (ft erie’s bertie hall, st. catherine’s museum), cyclists can choose short segments or tackle the entire trail. on april 14, the adventure cycling association sponsored 18 cyclists on a 50 mi a day, 48-day road trip ending in buffalo. but its not too late to be apart of this historic event. The final leg, a 7-day ride open to 80 riders, will start on july 30th and end on aug 3rd connecting buffalo to owen sound. the closing of this inaguaral 2100 mile trip will coincide with owen sound’s 145th emancipation festival. owen sound’s particular significance is that of a emotional site of relief and freedom, as for many passengers who journeyed the “rail” to escape america’s peculiar institution.

“the challenge to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities requires implementation of interventions that are scientifically sound and culturally appropriate,” dr. thomas

the owen sound site also is the gateway to north america’s rich african-canadian heritage – a “living” story spliced from the classroom and many discourses on the african diaspora. for more african canadian resources check out these site: historic black canadians,afrotoronto,book references,afua cooper,and a fellow wordpress blogger with interesting sources. Continue Reading underground railroad bike route…

you go “garden” girl

January 5, 2007 at 6:19 pm | Posted in Eco-Friendly, environment, Sustainability | 4 Comments

we all know that sustainable living is “what’s up”. unfortuantely, there is a misconception that green living can only be successful if done in rural locations. well, garden girl is here to save the day! patti moreno, a boricua from nyc, has a dope new television series coming out entitled, “garden girl: urban sustainable living”. the show is a resource, especially for city boys & gals, giving the necessary how-to’s of living sustainably in the city. say word?! please believe, this isn’t a scam to beat you in the head with nonsense, the sister is well-informed and offers practical ways to “think globally, act locally”. topics include permaculture, aquaculture, constructing winter garden beds and more –all from her self built urban “farmette”. show a lil’ love and give her support by checking out her site: she is clearly a pioneer. also, look out for her home video series and book.

the passing of a “funky president”

December 27, 2006 at 6:04 pm | Posted in environment | 5 Comments

did you know that james brown‘s song funky president was about gerald ford? besides the week of their unfortunate passings, they also shared concern for environmental preservation (see james brown’s efforts in soul power, green power). as the only national park ranger to ascend to the presidency, it can be argued that ford brought a unique appreciation for the environment to the office. his strides into “common sense environmental protection” included his ’76 landmark speech on world environment day, the toxic substances control act, the phasing out of polychlorinated biphenyls (pcb’s), as well as environmental safeguards to protect animals. these policies and others are discussed in the book “politics, pollution and panda” by russell train, an enviornmental policy specialist, who served under both nixon and ford. while some critics believe these policies and ford’s overall stance on ecological issues were merely an “expansion of economic rhetoric” to distract the public from the rise in inflation, it was ford who nationalized the “observance of earth day on the march equinox” (he would later go on to establish earth week). here are several excerpts gerald ford in his own green words:

excerpt from ford’s earth day proclamation march 20, 1975

“the earth will continue to regenerate its life sources only as long as we and all the peoples of the world do our part to conserve its natural resources. It is a responsibility which every human being shares. through voluntary action, each of us can join in building a productive land in harmony with nature.”

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Continue Reading the passing of a “funky president”…

soul power, green power

December 25, 2006 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Activism, Black Folks, environment, Sustainability | 10 Comments

“let’s get together and get some land. raise our food just like the man.” – james brown, “funky president”

for me the above lyrics advises against overconsumption, to become less dependent on corporate production, and to re-establish a functional realtionship with the earth –an understanding james brown developed by watching his father harvest terpentine from local pine trees near barnwell, south carolina for a living.

the prolific elder, musician and human rights pioneer, james j. brown, jr., passed away this christmas morning. i was a bit caught off guard, particularly, since i recently viewed an interview with him on youtube. the interview was not representative of him at his best, so i was left to ponder: besides artistic genius, what did he leave us all with? what can we learn from his example? empowering messages. empowering messages, indeed. and while many of his most memorable songs were created to instill cultural pride and ignite self-determination amongst black folks, the concepts are timeless and universal.

just like a godfather, james brown left us words to inspire our courage. though, in the struggle for spiritual and emotional freedom he fought internal struggles that heavily impacted those around him, he provided us with salient words of wisdom that provoked critical thought and action. “i started a chain of gold platter restaurants…i financed my own line of food stamps.”

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Continue Reading soul power, green power…

bike pooling?

December 24, 2006 at 1:47 am | Posted in Cycling, environment | 2 Comments

with growing concerns and about global warming, more and more commuters are digging into the garages, layering up and riding their schwinn’s in to work. but soon “green-minded” cities will have to outline an additional “bike”pooling lane for those citizens looking to conserve “human” energy.

what the heck is that? its the “barrett side-by-side” crafted by the ingenious robert barret. one of the many tinker toys he designed back in the 70’s, this biofueled vehicle allows you to ride with another person (or alone) sitting right next to them. compared to the tandem alternatives, it’s more romantic and appears to be safer, too. on tandems bicycles, you could pass out if the person in the front decides to pass you a gaseous gift downwind. mike, brooklyn mechanic at the bicycle station, said that in all of his years repairing and going to conventions he hasn’t seen one in about 30 years. he was lucky to run into the inventor’s son, a student at pratt institute, who said that his dad still had a couple “brand new” still in the garage. but don’t get your hopes up too high. when it comes to the side-by-sides: “dig deep, it ain’t cheap”. a brand new one will cost you a grip — $3,700. (i’ve seen a used one go on ebay for only $300). but if you are looking to have fun this summer, this is the official head turner. not to mention, think of how much would save in gas and insurance co-pays for doctor visits. for a description on how it works –every bike has special powers you know–check out the barret’s patent information.

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